Former international commercial real estate mogul Paul Reichmann may be expanding into the United States residential mortgage market.
Mr. Reichmann, whose Olympia & York empire was sucked into the property crisis of the late 1980s, is said to be considering a multimillion-dollar investment in Hampstead Financial Corp., Fort Lee, N.J.
The mortgage company's founder, Michael Landau, is an acquaintance of Mr. Reichmann and is eager to expand operations in conventional and home equity lending, say people close to the discussions.
Mr. Landau declined to comment on the situation. Mr. Reichmann, who is based in Toronto, could not immediately be reached for comment, his spokesman said.
Mr. Reichmann built an international reputation as a high-quality commercial real estate developer only to see much of his empire falter when the market foundered. He has kept a low profile in recent years, although industry observers said he has remained interested in the U.S. real estate market.
Executives close to Hampstead said that Mr. Reichmann's capital infusion, which could come within 30 days, would help the one-year-old company go national. Hampstead also hopes the Reichmann name will entice other investors, the executives said.
Hampstead is run by former top managers from mortgage operations at Citicorp, Prudential, and other financial services firms.
Instead of simply originating mortgages, the company plans to work with real estate brokers to offer a variety of financial services and products, Mr. Landau said.